Nelson Central School

Nelson Central School is a state primary contributing school located in the inner city of Nelson at the top of the South Island of New Zealand teaching children of both genders aged 5 to 11 years.

At the end of 2006 the board of trustees consisted of five elected parent representatives, the Principal and the staff representative. Currently the chairman is Geoff Clark.

For the school year ended in December 2006, the school roll opened with 389 students and closed with 419. During the school year, staffing entitlement ranged from 24.64 in February to 24.73 by December.


Nelson Central School is situated three blocks east of Nelson Cathedral and the location of the school may be viewed on Google earth maps via this link: 41°16′39″S 173°17′19″E / 41.2774°S 173.2885°E / -41.2774; 173.2885


As a primary contributing school, Nelson Central School sends pupils to Nelson Intermediate School Nelson College for Girls Preparatory School and Nelson College Preparatory School. Nelson Central School enrols children between 5 and 11 years of age. Typically, about 50-60 five year old children start each year.


Nelson Central School is now the oldest school in New Zealand still functioning on its original unitary site. Consequently its main building and Renwick House are of architectural interest (photo needed). The site of the present school was purchased by the Nelson Education Board in 1893 for £1600.

(The first school in the new Pākehā settlement of Nelson had opened in March 1842, "in a house built of toi toi", just a few months after the New Zealand Company's first settlers landed.)

Renwick House

The number of Māori children enrolled at the school is proportionately greater than would be expected given the total Māori population in the City of Nelson. This may be due to the presence of four Māori language immersion classes with a full-time Kaiarahi reo within Nelson Central School.

The current Principal is also Māori.

All students take part in the school's Mana Maori programme as required under the Treaty of Waitangi and all students have the opportunity to acquire some knowledge of Maori language and culture.

Building Activity

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